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Nenajdenko V.G., Gladilin A.K., Beklemishev M.K. The most interesting in chemistry. Mendeleev Olympiad. Experimental problems 2002-2018. Ed. by V.V. Lunin. - Moscow, Publishing house NGB, 2019.-248 pp.
ISBN 978-5-6041283-9-8
Nenajdenko V.G., Gladilin A.K., Beklemishev M.K.

The most interesting in chemistry

Mendeleev Olympiad
Experimental problems 2002-2018

Edited by V.V. Lunin
Moscow, Publishing house NGB, 2019.-248 pp.
ISBN 978-5-6041283-9-8
Nenajdenko V.G., Gladilin A.K., Beklemishev M.K.
 The most interesting in chemistry
ISBN 978-5-6041283-9-8

The book presents the experimental problems of the last seventeen International Mendeleev Olympiads in chemistry. This is the result of sustained effort of the authors, which included the experimental preparation of the proposed assignments and the compilation of questions for them. In addition, the book lists all participants of the 17 Mendeleev Olympiads and the awards they received. The unique material presented in the book will be useful to anyone interested in chemistry: school students, college students, high school teachers and university professors.


Contents


Foreword   5
Experimental Problems      13
   The 36th Mendeleev Olympiad (2002)      13
   The 37th Mendeleev Olympiad (2003)      21
   The 38th Mendeleev Olympiad (2004)      31
   The 39th Mendeleev Olympiad (2005)      44
   The 40th Mendeleev Olympiad (2006)      53
   The 41st Mendeleev Olympiad (2007)      61
   The 42nd Mendeleev Olympiad (2008)      67
   The 43rd Mendeleev Olympiad (2009)      72
   The 44th Mendeleev Olympiad (2010)      80
   The 45th Mendeleev Olympiad (2011)      89
   The 46th Mendeleev Olympiad (2012)      96
   The 47th Mendeleev Olympiad (2013)      107
   The 48th Mendeleev Olympiad (2014)      112
   The 49th Mendeleev Olympiad (2015)      118
   The 50th Mendeleev Olympiad (2016)      124
   The 5lst Mendeleev Olympiad (2017)      131
   The 52nd Mendeleev Olympiad (2018)      139
Answers   146
   2002      146
   2003      147
   2004      148
   2005      150
   2006      152
   2007      154
   2008      156
   2009      159
   2010      161
   2011      163
   2012      164
   2013      165
   2014      167
   2015      169
   2016      171
   2017      172
   2018      173
Mendeleev Olympiad results   174
   The 36th IMCO, 2-10 May 2002      174
   The 37th IMCO, 4-11 May 2003      178
   The 38th IMCO, 2-9 May 2004      182
   The 39th IMCO, 1-7 May 2005      186
   The 40th IMCO, 2-9 May 2006      190
   The 41th IMCO, 2-10 May 2007      194
   The 42th IMCO, 27 April-4 May 2008      198
   The 43th IMCO, 25 April - 2 May 2009      202
   The 44th IMCO, 27 April - 3 May 2010      206
   The 45th IMCO, 25-30 April 2011      210
   The 46th IMCO, 23-29 April 2012      214
   The 47th IMCO, 24-30 April 2013      218
   The 48th IMCO, 11-18 May 2014      222
   The 49th IMCO, 4-9 May 2015      226
   The 50th IMCO, 2-7 May 2016      230
   The 51th IMCO, 24-29 April 2017      235
   The 52th IMCO, 23-29 April 2018      240

Foreword

The role and importance of chemistry in the development of modern society can hardly be overestimated. The words of M.V. Lomonosov: "The study of chemistry has a dual purpose: one - advancing the natural sciences and the other - improving the general welfare" remain invariably relevant. That is why it is so important for high school students to learn how to creatively use the gained knowledge and skills in chemistry. The best way to test their abilities is to participate in chemistry Olympiads, since Olympiad tasks are always extraordinary. For successful performance at the Olympiad, school students need not just chemical erudition, knowledge of material at a level higher than in ordinary schools, but also, very importantly, chemical intuition, the ability to draw logical conclusions, apply existing knowledge to new, sometimes unfamiliar areas of chemical science.

Despite many crisis phenomena observed over the last decades in the national education systems not only in the countries of former Soviet Union, but also in the USA and many European countries, school subject Olympiads invariably remain one of the most important components of quality school education. Each country has an established multi-level system of national subject Olympiads, including chemistry. The chemistry Olympiad of the highest level, a kind of "the world championship" among high school students in chemistry, is the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO). In each country four strongest high school students who have become the winners of national competitions are selected to participate in the International Olympiad. This system (first, national chemistry Olympiads, then the selection of participants for the IChO among their winners and additional specialized training of those students, and then IChO) has been successfully operating and developing in the participating countries for many years. However, at the same time there is such a unique phenomenon in the field of intellectual competitions of school students as the International Mendeleev Olympiad of School students in Chemistry. The Mendeleev Olympiad history itself is interesting. The point is that chemists were the only natural scientists who managed to preserve the traditions of the former АН-Union Olympiad. After the collapse of the USSR in 1992, the All-Union Olympiad in Chemistry continued its development in two directions: the Ail-Russian Olympiad and the International Mendeleev Olympiad.

The Mendeleev Olympiad has been annually held after the collapse of the USSR. During the first, most difficult years, it took place in Russia, but since 1997 the Olympiad has crossed the Russian borders again. In 2004, for the first time, high school students from Bulgaria and Romania took part in the 38th Mendeleev Olympiad and achieved high results. Later, several other countries joined the competition and now annually take part in it. A record number of countries participated in the 2018 Olympiad held in Minsk.

Mendeleev Olympiad geography

Year

Host city, country

Number of countries

Number of participants

1992

Samara (Russia)

9

200

1993

Pushchino (Russia)

4

29

1994

Pushchino (Russia)

9

43

1995

Pushchino (Russia)

11

63

1996

Pushchino (Russia)

12

85

1997

Yerevan (Armenia)

8

48

1998

Issyk-Kul (Kyrgyzstan)

12

68

1999

Minsk (Belarus)

11

65

2000

Baku (Azerbaijan)

10

54

2001

Moscow (Russia)

13

80

2002

Almaty (Kazakhstan)

14

85

2003

Pushchino (Russia)

12

76

2004

Chisinau (Moldova)

14

77

2005

Dushanbe (Tajikistan)

15

87

2006

Yerevan (Armenia)

15

82

2007

Minsk (Belarus)

16

91

2008

Tashkent (Uzbekistan)

15

85

2009

Ashgabat (Turkmenistan)

13

87

2010

Baku (Azerbaijan)

14

87

2011

Moscow (Russia)

15

96

2012

Astana (Kazakhstan)

18

112

2013

Tashkent (Uzbekistan)

17

118

2014

Moscow (Russia)

16

104

2015

Yerevan (Armenia)

15

95

2016

Moscow (Russia)

21

114

2017

Astana (Kazakhstan)

20

120

2018

Minsk (Belarus)

22

135

2019

Saint Petersburg (Russia)

 

 

Mendeleev Olympiads not only maintain the general high standards of chemical education in the participating countries, but also carry the most important humanitarian mission confirming that education has no boundaries, that the culture and traditions of nations can successfully complement and enrich each other. Mendeleev Olympiads of school students are a powerful tool for creating a unified educational space in the participating countries. The significance of the Mendeleev Olympiad was emphasized at the International Meeting on the Further Development of Chemistry Olympiads (Riga, Latvia, January 9-10, 2004), where it was noted to be a good example of interregional cooperation and attracting school students for further professional chemistry studies.

The Jury of the Olympiad and its Organizing Committee were headed by such famous scientists as Full Members of the Russian Academy of Sciences A.L. Buchachenko, Yu.A. Zolotov and P.D. Sarkisov, Professor Yu.A. Ustynyuk. Since 1997, the Olympiad Organizing Committee has been headed by Full Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences V.V. Lunin. Since 2002, the work of the Olympiad Jury and its Scientific Committee has been coordinated by professor V.G. Nenajdenko. The Organizing Committee, Scientific Committee and Jury of the Olympiad include professors and teachers from leading universities, as well as secondary school chemistry teachers in the participating countries. Let us list the names of the Jury members, authors of the Mendeleev Olympiad tasks since 2002: Abbasov V.M., Abbasov M.M., Andriutse E.N., Apyari V.V., Asachenko A.F., Bagdasaryan D.A., Bakhtin S.G., Beklemishev M.K., Belykh Z.D., Berkovich A.K., Bibin A.V., Borschevsky A.Y., Budynina E.M., Volochnyuk D.M., Garifullin B.N., Garmash A.V., Gladilin A.K., Golovko Yu.S., Gorlova A.A., Gulevich (Syrlybaeva) D.G., Dilmukhambetov E.E., Dubensky A.S., Eremin V.V., Zhientayev T.M., Zhirov A.L, Zaborova O.V., Zaitsev A.A., Ivanov D.T., Ivanova O.A., Ioffe I.N., Kalugin S.N., Kandaskalov D.V., Karpova E.V., Karpushkin E.A., Kataev E.A., Kebets P.A., Kisin A.V., Kuzin S.V., Kulago A.A., Kutanova O.A., Likhanov M.S., Lukyanova M.A., Mazhuga A.G., Malinina (Oleinik) L.I., Marinchuk A.L, Matusevich O.V., Medvedev Yu.N., Melik-Nubarov N.S., Mukhtarov F.Sh., Nazarov I.G., Nenajdenko V.G., Nikitina V.N., Novikov F.N. Pavlechko E.V., Panin R.V., Plodukhin A.Yu., Predeus A.V., Putlyaev V.I., Revenko M.D.,, Reshetova M.D., Rozantsev G.M., Semenov S.E., Seryakov S.A., Skobeleva V.B., Smurny E.D., Sychev Yu.N., Timkovsky I.I., Tkachenko S.E., Trushkov I.V., Tukov A.A., Ustinyuk Yu.A., Fedotov S.S., Khvalyuk V.N., Chernov O.V., Chulkin P.V., Churanov SS, Shvartsman V.E., Shved A.M., Shved E.N., Yablotsky K.V., Yazev O.V., Yakimov A.V.

The Mendeleev Olympiad has a distinctive feature: students and PhD students, the yesterday's winners of Mendeleev Olympiads, serve in its Jury along with professors and teachers. That helps to preserve traditions and ensure continuity of the principles of Olympiad for years to come. Nowadays, Sergey Kuzin and Andrey Shved are students and Maxim Likhanov and Dayana Gulevich are PhD students at the Chemistry Department of Moscow State University; Filip Ilievski is an ETH PhD student (Zurich, Switzerland).

All the years the Olympiad was sponsored by various financial institutions and companies. Since 1997, a significant part of the Olympiad expenses has also been borne by governments of the countries that hosted the Olympiad.

Participants of the Mendeleev Olympiad are students of graduation and pre-graduation years from among the winners of the national chemistry Olympiads. It is important that a mentor is always invited to attend the Olympiad together with the school students; as a rule, it is a university teacher coaching the team. He has the opportunity, if necessary, to translate the problems into the national language on the eve of each day of Olympiad. Moreover, the participants can receive the Olympiad tasks in English upon request. All the participants, regardless their grade and age, solve the same problems. Traditionally, the Olympiad consists of three rounds: the first theoretical exam (8 mandatory tasks), the second theoretical exam (5 tasks out of 15 chosen by participants) and the experimental competition. The complexity of the problems of the first round corresponds to the program of specialized chemical classes. At the exam, participants are offered to solve 8 problems, 10 points per each, and all the problems are counted. Accordingly, the maximum score for the first exam is 80 points.

The problems of the second round (often referred to as "a tour of choice") are of a somewhat higher level. They are divided into five sections: analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, life sciences and polymers, and physical chemistry. Each section contains 3 problems, each task is worth 15 points. Participants have to complete at least 5 problems, no more than two of them being from one and the same section (this rule was first introduced at the 37th IMO) to verify the universality of their training. Certainly, they can solve a larger number of problems, but only 5 tasks are considered: one most successfully completed from each section. The maximum score for the second round is 75 points. The duration of each theoretical exam is 5 hours. At the exam each participant is provided with a brochure with the problems and the Periodic table, answer sheets, notebook for drafts and pen. The answer sheets are not signed because at the end of the exam the works are encrypted and the International Jury checks them anonymously.

The experimental competition of the Olympiad implies that school students have some skills of working in the chemical laboratory. The problems of this round allow the participants to demonstrate the ability to perform chemical analysis of substances, as well as to carry out synthesis according to the known protocol. The experimental competition is usually conducted after a day of rest. As a rule, it includes two problems, most often analytical and synthetic. Participants must have a lab coat and goggles (or their own corrective glasses) and a non-programmable calculator at the experimental tour. The maximum score for this tour is 75 points, its duration varies from 4 to 5 hours, depending on the difficulty of problems. Thus, the maximum total score for all three tours is 230 points.

During the tours, participants are prohibited to bring any literature, computing devices (except calculators), use mobile phones and other means of communication, talk to the neighbors, and disturb other participants by their actions. For violation of the rules the participant may be disqualified.

After grading, the works are shown to the participants who can themselves (and not their mentors!) clarify issues with the International Jury members and express their disagreement with the grading results. In some cases, school students can convince the eminent scholars that they are right, and the initial grading marks are reviewed. At the end of their work, the International Jury determines the boundaries of medals of various merits. According to the Regulations on the Olympiad, gold medals receive 10%, silver - 20%, and bronze - 30% of the total number of participants.

The International Mendeleev Chemistry Olympiad has a number of significant differences from the IChO and most national chemistry Olympiads. Among the main ones is the absence of a program and preparatory problems, therefore participants should be well-versed in various areas of chemistry. The problems for Mendeleev Olympiad are prepared by a Scientific Committee which includes leading scientists and teachers representing the participating countries of the Olympiad. The official working languages of the Mendeleev Olympiad are Russian and English. If desired, team mentors can translate the tasks into their native languages.

The International Mendeleev Chemistry Olympiad is the successor to the АН-Union Chemistry Olympiad that originated more than 50 years ago in the Soviet Union. Conceived in the early 1990s as a competition for the best chemists of the former Soviet Union republics, by that time independent states, the Olympiad has significantly expanded its geographical spread over the past decades. Nevertheless, it still remains a regional competition with about 25 participating countries. Each year, about 2.5 months after the Mendeleev Olympiad, the best chemists of the world traditionally gather for the International Chemistry Olympiad, currently attended by about 300 high school students from almost 80 countries representing all the Earth continents.

Traditionally, many winners, prize-winners and participants of the Mendeleev Olympiad are selected for the national teams of their countries to participate in the IChO, and therefore the pedagogical community of different countries from year to year discusses the same question: which of these competitions is more difficult to succeed? The question is not idle since the Mendeleev Olympiad and the IChO indeed have a lot of differences. Among them are a significantly greater (about 2.5 times) number of participants in the IChO; the lack of the Syllabus of Mendeleev Olympiad, therefore at this competition "any" chemistry may appear in the problems, while at the IChO it is only the topics previously announced in the preparatory set of tasks; the Mendeleev Olympiad includes two theoretical rounds, while the IChO - one; the Scientific Committee is formed by the host country of the Olympiad in the IChO, therefore it changes from year to year, and the permanent Scientific Committee functions at the Mendeleev Olympiad... And these are not all the differences!

Correlation between results at IMCO and IChO


Fig. 1. Analysis of the school students performance at the Mendeleev Olympiad and the IChO of the same year. The abscissa axis is the participant place at the Mendeleev Olympiad, the ordinate axis is the place of that participant at the IChO. The results refer to the Olympiads between 2016-2018.

So which Olympiad is more difficult? A comparison of the results (2016-2018) of participants of the Mendeleev Olympiad and the IChO in the same year is shown in Fig. 1. Analysis of the points distribution on the diagram indicates a clear correlation of the results at the two competitions. In the overwhelming majority of cases, at the IChO school students confirm their relative places won at the Mendeleev Olympiad. Cases of successful performances at one of the Olympiads and unsuccessful at the other are rare, and if this happens, they mostly relate to a less successful performance at the IChO than at the Mendeleev Olympiad. A possible reason for this phenomenon is that many traditionally strong teams are represented at the IMCO by more than 4 participants (up to 10), while the teams at the IChO can only include 4 people. As a result, a significant number of strong students, often gold and silver medal winners at the Mendeleev Olympiad, cannot join the team at the IChO due to the above limit.




Fig. 2.The number of participants who confirmed, improved or worsened the medal result at the IChO compared to the Mendeleev Olympiad of the same year. "0" - confirmation, negative values - degradation, positive values - improvement. The categories are "Gold", "Silver", "Bronze", and "No medal". The results refer to the Olympiads between 2016-2018.

The trends revealed above when comparing the places of participants are confirmed by the analysis results of school students medal achievements (Fig. 2). In this way, more than half of the participants received medals of the same merit at the Mendeleev Olympiad and the IChO. It should be noted that the proportion of medals of one or another merit of the total number of participants in both competitions is almost the same. The proportion of participants, "jumping" into the next medal category, although much smaller, is also significant, but "jumping" over two or three categories is extremely rare.

It should be emphasized that over the past three years, the double winner of the Mendeleev Olympiad has twice won the first place at the IChO. In 2016 it was Andrei Iliescu from Romania and in 2017 Alexander Zhigalin from Russia.

Thus, both the Mendeleev Olympiad and the IChO are among the most interesting, complex and prestigious chemistry Olympiads which are extremely difficult and, at the same time, honorable to win! All of the aforesaid reveals the uniqueness of the Mendeleev Olympiad position in the system of high-level chemistry Olympiads.

This book offers the unique materials collected by the compilers: experimental problems, solutions and statistical data of Mendeleev Olympiads since 2002. These materials are presented in such a way that any problem can be used separately to prepare a high school or a university student. The problems are complex and designed for universal training of experimenters.

In our opinion, the experiment is the most interesting thing in chemistry. We hope that the unique educational and methodological material presented in this book will be useful and interesting not only to future participants of the Mendeleev Olympiad, but also to all who love the excellent science of Chemistry.




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